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View Full Version : Setting prices to reduce PITA Customers


muddstopper
05-15-2005, 02:20 PM
I have a friend that does mowing and odd jobs. He has a 48 wb and a 52 ztr. As well as a tractor/bushhog , chainsaws and odd peices of equipment. We have had sevral discussions about selecting customers and how to sort out the junk lawns from the high dollar lawns. He uses a minimum priceing of $60 for mowing and trimming. He claims that this eliminates a lot of the cheapo cutomers because once he tells them the minimum they either hang up or tell him to come give an estimate. The el-cheapos wont ask for estimates because they think he is already to high. Those that ask for estimates are usually those that can afford his services and are willing to pay someone rather than do it themselfs. Does anyone else use this or similar methods for selecting customers. Opinions???

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 02:53 PM
60 minimum? Good luck. I have a 30 minimum for a 5,000 SQ Ft yard. He probably has to do the odd jobs to make up for nothing having any customers because his price is to high. Ridiculous.

A+ Lawncare
05-15-2005, 03:11 PM
caller: hello....
friend (other lco): XXXX LCO, how may i help you
caller: i have an 1sq. ft. yard i need mowed &trimmed & blow....
friend (other lco): yes, that would be $60
caller: i know of 1k LCO that will cut my lawn for $25.... click


this friend of yours is starving, donate a few buck$ to him..... a 5min job, he is charging $60.... good luck with that my friend

A+ Lawncare
05-15-2005, 03:19 PM
would u mind enlighting us with ur friend's minute rule, how much he must take in an minute or an hr....

mine is $1 per min., while some other guys on here must take in $1.50
i bet this guy must take in at least $5 minute w/$60 drop gate :rolleyes:

muddstopper
05-15-2005, 03:28 PM
I think you missed the point about the minimum pricing. With the $60 minimum he doesnt do the small sqftage jobs. He does mostly larger acreages that would require larger payments. These tend to end up being the higher scale homes with larger lawns. The smaller lawns are usually cluttered with trees, shrubs and beds that take lots of trimming and edging while the larger acerages might have a similar amount of landscapeing but it is spread out and easier to mow around with the larger equipment. Notice I said his equipment is a 48 wb and a 52 in ztr. He claims to adverage $2 per min. with these accounts and has 60 customers so he's not starving. He didnt get all those customers at one time but has built that customer base in the last two years. And just because his minimum is $60 doesnt mean that is what he charges for each lawn, most are usually considerably higher. He uses the $60 minimum to weed out the smaller lawns so he can concentrate on the larger more profitable properties. It seems that pricing strategy is working for him and I was just wondering if anybody else used a similar strategy to target the customers they want to service.

T Edwards
05-15-2005, 03:33 PM
All of our bids this season start at $49. Anything less is not beneficial to our bottom line.

Eddie B
05-15-2005, 03:39 PM
My most profitable area is a row of 8 townhomes. It takes 35 minutes to do all of them solo and I charge $15 per lawn.

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 03:40 PM
I think you missed the point about the minimum pricing. With the $60 minimum he doesnt do the small sqftage jobs. He does mostly larger acreages that would require larger payments. These tend to end up being the higher scale homes with larger lawns. The smaller lawns are usually cluttered with trees, shrubs and beds that take lots of trimming and edging while the larger acerages might have a similar amount of landscapeing but it is spread out and easier to mow around with the larger equipment. Notice I said his equipment is a 48 wb and a 52 in ztr. He claims to adverage $2 per min. with these accounts and has 60 customers so he's not starving. He didnt get all those customers at one time but has built that customer base in the last two years. And just because his minimum is $60 doesnt mean that is what he charges for each lawn, most are usually considerably higher. He uses the $60 minimum to weed out the smaller lawns so he can concentrate on the larger more profitable properties. It seems that pricing strategy is working for him and I was just wondering if anybody else used a similar strategy to target the customers they want to service.






I guess if thats all you have to deal with where you live then its ok to charge that much. Around here there arent large acre lots on every corner so it wouldnt fly.

Shawns Lawns
05-15-2005, 03:49 PM
I think you missed the point about the minimum pricing. With the $60 minimum he doesnt do the small sqftage jobs. He does mostly larger acreages that would require larger payments. These tend to end up being the higher scale homes with larger lawns. The smaller lawns are usually cluttered with trees, shrubs and beds that take lots of trimming and edging while the larger acerages might have a similar amount of landscapeing but it is spread out and easier to mow around with the larger equipment. Notice I said his equipment is a 48 wb and a 52 in ztr. He claims to adverage $2 per min. with these accounts and has 60 customers so he's not starving. He didnt get all those customers at one time but has built that customer base in the last two years. And just because his minimum is $60 doesnt mean that is what he charges for each lawn, most are usually considerably higher. He uses the $60 minimum to weed out the smaller lawns so he can concentrate on the larger more profitable properties. It seems that pricing strategy is working for him and I was just wondering if anybody else used a similar strategy to target the customers they want to service.

I see your point and if i had large acreage lawns i think that might work here to. I was asked yesterday how much i charge per lawn and i told her i would really have to see it. She was pressuring me for a price an told me her lot with house included was .18 of an acre. I told her without looking about $25-30 and then told me she had 4 dogs and i said it will also be $10 per dog. She said ohh you can just mow over it. UM I THINK NOT i told her i dont want that in my bagger or on my tires. I will not be going over to look at her property. :waving:

A+ Lawncare
05-15-2005, 03:53 PM
My most profitable area is a row of 8 townhomes. It takes 35 minutes to do all of them solo and I charge $15 per lawn.


:waving: amen Bailey..... some ppl like this guy over looks small yards, b/c its low on the cash flow, but if you can get about 5 or more small lots grouped up together, then all you need to do is park the truck at the culd sac, and cut all the neighborhing lawns.... like you just said u can make anywhere from $50-120 in 30mins w/small lots...

IMO i think small grouped (5 or more yards) lots together are more profitable than large lots that take 60mins or more :cool:

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this guy is cuttin w/an 48'' & 52'' w/b, and his charging $60 min. and makin about $2 a minute.... thats about 30mins of work w/an 48''/52'' w/b he's cutting .75-1 acre in 30mins.... if this is so he's rite on the #'s

muddstopper
05-15-2005, 03:56 PM
I guess if thats all you have to deal with where you live then its ok to charge that much. Around here there arent large acre lots on every corner so it wouldnt fly.

I guess that statement is true. Around here is very rual. New developments are being built on old farm land or steep mountain tops. The mountain top properties are ones I wouldnt want. Small lots and steep terrain, more weedeating than mowing, narrow driveways with no turn arounds for trucks with trailers. The farmland developments are usually larger areas inside gated communities where the neighbors are trying to keep up with Jones. Fast work for a 52in ztr and no large trees. Most landscapeing located up next to the house with a few smaller trees planted at each corner of the property or lineing the driveways. At $60 a pop he can forget the mountain top properties because his ztr or WB are both to big but for the farm property developments he seems to be right on.

I will mention that he used to help his dad mow for years so he is not a rookie. His dad services about 80 properties and most are in the $35 range. He works half as hard or as long as his dad who has to have a crew to help.

South Florida Lawns
05-15-2005, 04:06 PM
In one neighborhood I have a cluster of 11 lawns 5 on one side 6 across the street and i can knock them out pretty fast I charge any where from 12 to 18 a lawn which is average in my area of Florida and the yards are pretty small, the houses these days are almost on top of each other.

muddstopper
05-15-2005, 04:07 PM
:waving: amen Bailey..... some ppl like this guy over looks small yards, b/c its low on the cash flow, but if you can get about 5 or more small lots grouped up together, then all you need to do is park the truck at the culd sac, and cut all the neighborhing lawns.... like you just said u can make anywhere from $50-120 in 30mins w/small lots...

IMO i think small grouped (5 or more yards) lots together are more profitable than large lots that take 60mins or more :cool:

=========================================================
this guy is cuttin w/an 48'' & 52'' w/b, and his charging $60 min. and makin about $2 a minute.... thats about 30mins of work w/an 48''/52'' w/b he's cutting .75-1 acre in 30mins.... if this is so he's rite on the #'s

I see your point about grouping the smaller lawns and saving time, what this guy is trying to do is group the larger lawns. By staying with the $60 min. he doesnt even do smaller lawns which here are often not grouped together. In my other post I mentioned that his dad does the $35 lawns and uses a crew of two or three to help with the trimming and blowing and such. He disagreed with his dad over pricing and the type of homes they maintained so he struck out on his own. I guess another year or two will tell who was right.